Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Ground Game - Part one

Yesterday I saw  this post over at EUReferendum, which appeared to be the culmination of several days of comment and shall we say vibrant discussion across various blogs around the referendum and the roles of the various players, more specifically around those purporting to be pushing for an out vote.  I sensed within it all a fear that we might not receive an open and honest debate and that we might get a poor imitation of one.

Of course this might all be likely only if we follow the expected path and we sit and watch these players dominate the agenda.  If we want to be of genuine service to Britain and its people, then surely something like this is too important to sit idly by.  I said in my post on the British Interest that it needed us all to pull on the rope and I feel we have an opportunity to begin pulling and to set ourselves on a path towards a more open and prosperous future for everyone.

I believe the out campaign should not be left in the hands of the political parties, but should tread an alternative path.  If done correctly not only could we have an honest campaign but one that stays outside the whims of the political class and ill informed media.  It's something I've been thinking about as I've been reading the various blog posts.

I believe we need to develop what is often referred to as a Ground Game.

Could it work? Yes it could - its worked before as illustrated in this post from Witterings from Witney.  Of course its different in that something like this is new for us and will need input.  I believe, however that a good "ground game" has shown to work in so many other campaigns partly because it brings politics back to the local and to the people on the ground, so many of whom have become disillusioned and switched off.  a ground game would give them a chance to reengage with democracy. I not only think this bottom

So here are some of my thoughts. I think as more comes to me, I'll write more in future posts.

  • The idea is centred on a simple premise.  A grassroots strategy to engage people in an open honest and legal way to maximise the chances of getting an "out" vote in the forthcoming referendum.  I believe that there is a majority for this no vote out there if we can just engage them.  That is the hub of this plan - engaging people to reinvest in the future of this nation through the presentation of clear, understandable information that not only informs but rebuts any half truths or outright lies.

  • As a ground game, the movement should effectively go "door to door" by engaging one person at a time and getting each of those one people to engage with others right where they live.

  • Nobody really owns it, other than the people down on the ground in that particular area.  There will be similarities in the information sources and the methods used, but at the end of the day it belongs to the people in that area. That way, if one part cannot continue for any reason, everything else remains unaffected.

Again, I believe that simplicity should be the key to this campaign. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  one presumes at this stage that any vote would be organised along existing voting lines and it makes sense to mimic that. Therefore my suggestion is that the main local division is along the lines of the current parliamentary constituencies.  That does not have to be the only level.  I think it prudent to have subdivisions along the lines of the various electoral wards or the subdivisions found in other parts of Britain.  If the vote will be along these lines, the campaign to win it should reflect that.  It also helps to break down the challenge of getting the numbers involved.  At approximately 68175 people per constituency that may presents the perception of too large a challenge.  Smaller areas (and maybe even smaller areas too) may be more manageable and easier to communicate with.

The way I currently see things (but again its just a viewpoint and open to better ones, but ultimately decided by the local groups) is that the serious thinkers with serious blogs and others groups with serious, pertinent and persuasive observations become the go to source for that information that the groups can use to support their campaign.

An important part of that messaging is that somehow it needs to strike a balance of being honest, serious and possessing gravity whilst at the same time doing it in a way that can be passed on to the man and women in the street.  Remember we have a disengaged electorate.  Politics and EU politics in particular appears complicated and boring and has become synonymous with lies and broken promises which has caused a big switch off.  Any such campaign would need to overcome that.

In Closing

I'm going to bring this to a close at this point - deliberately.  I've got further work to do on this (and chores around the house), but I wanted to leave the notion out there for people to mull over.  A lot of the comments I saw on the various posts recently (and have in the past) seem to reflect a presumption that it must all be left to the "professionals".  To me that means people need time to consider that there might be an alternative way and to believe it's possible.

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